The Tampa Bay Devil Rays need help, and Delmon Young might just be the guy to give it to them, but then again, maybe not.
"This league is all about showcasing yourself. It's a real advantage to be down here if you want to play in the big leagues." Young said Monday from Mesa, Arizona.
Young, currently ranked as the fourth best prospect in all of baseball by Scout.com is a true five tool outfielder. The Devil Rays took Young #1 overall in the 2003 draft, and have fast tracked him, or maybe he fast tracked himself, sometimes its hard to tell. He made the All Star team in the South Atlantic League, he got an invitation to play in the 2004 Futures Game, and now in his second go around in the Arizona Fall League Young has established himself as a probable 2004 Major Leaguer.
"You come here and just try to perform. It really isn't my call as to whether the Devil Rays give me the call or not. They are young, and you just never know what's going to happen. I could be in the majors, in the minors, or I could get traded. There are a lot of scouts down here watching, and so I go out and play hard everyday."
Though Young doesn't appear to have a weakness, he's down here working on defense, but even more specifically throwing. "I'm just trying to make sure I've got the right grip when I throw. Trying to make sure that I'm not throwing 2-seamers or cutters from the outfield."
When you get that specific you know you're a pretty polished player, and Young is just that.
Young is used to being a meat of the order hitter, and one of the quirks of the AFL is that he finds himself all over the order, but it doesn't bother him, "Two, eight, three, five it doesn't really matter, its still hitting. Maybe you take more pitches in one spot, maybe you're more aggressive in another, but its still hitting."
For Young it really isn't about if, but when he will become a Major League contributor. "I just want to work on all the aspects of my game, so I can be the best all around player I can be."
For the Devil Rays, or someone, Young will almost certainly see Opening Day in a big league uniform, and many more after that.